From DSC:
1) To start out this posting, I want to pose some questions about “The Common Core” — in the form of a short video. <— NOTE:  Please be sure your speakers are on or you have some headphones with you — the signal is “hot” so you may need to turn down the volume a bit!  🙂

With a special thanks going out to
Mr. Bill Vriesema for sharing
some of his excellent gifts/work.

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DanielChristian-SomeQuestionsReTheCommonCore-June2013

 

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Having asked those questions, I understand that there is great value in having students obtain a base level of knowledge — in reading, writing, and basic math.  (Should we add keyboarding? Programming? Other?  Perhaps my comments are therefore more appropriate for high school students…not sure.)

Anyway, I would be much more comfortable with moving forward with the Common Core IF:

* I walked into random schools and found out which teachers the students really enjoyed learning from and whom had a real impact on the learning of the students.  Once I identified that group of teachers, if 7-8 out of 10 of them gave the Common Core a thumbs up, so would I.

* The Common Core covered more areas — such as fine arts, music, drama, woodworking, videography, photography, etc.    (Just because STEM might drive the economic engines doesn’t mean everyone enjoys plugging into a STEM-related field — or is gifted in those areas.)

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2) Secondly, here are just a few recent items re: the Common Core:


 

Good Read: Who’s Minding the Schools? — from blogs.kqed.org by Tina Barseghian

Excerpt: (emphasis DSC)

For those uninitiated to the Common Core State Standards, this New York Times article raises some important questions:

“By definition, America has never had a national education policy; this has indeed contributed to our country’s ambivalence on the subject… The anxiety that drives this criticism comes from the fact that a radical curriculum — one that has the potential to affect more than 50 million children and their parents — was introduced with hardly any public discussion. Americans know more about the events in Benghazi than they do about the Common Core.”

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The Common Core Standards

 

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Editorial: Make the Common Core standards work before making them count — from eschoolnews.com by Randi Weingarten
AFT President Randi Weingarten calls for a moratorium on the high-stakes implications of Common Core testing until the standards have been properly implemented.

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How to train students’ brains for the Common Core — from ecampusnews.com by Meris Stansbury
Excerpt:

According to Margaret Glick, a neuroscience expert and educational consultant at the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), the Common Core State Standards and the accompanying assessments will cognitively require more than past standards. “They will require a deep understanding of content, complex performances, real-world application, habits of mind to persevere, higher levels of cognition and cognitive flexibility,” Glick said during “The Common Core State Standards and the Brain,” a webinar sponsored by the Learning Enhancement Corporation.

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Common Core testing will require digital literacy skills — from ecampusnews.com by Dennis Pierce
Excerpt:

It also will require students to demonstrate certain digital literacy skills that go beyond the core curriculum, observers say. These include technology operational skills such as keyboarding and spreadsheets, as well as higher-order skills such as finding and evaluating information online. And many observers have serious concerns about whether students will be ready to take the online exams by the 2014-15 school year.

 

Minn. moves ahead with some Common Core education standards — from minnesota.publicradio.org by Tim Post

 

Carry the Common Core in Your Pocket! — from appolearning.com by Monica Burns

Excerpt:

Whether you are a parent or educator, you have likely heard the buzz around the Common Core Learning Standards. Here’s the deal.

Across the United States schools are adopting these national standards to prepare students for college and careers by introducing rigorous content to children in all subject areas. The standards cover students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Common Core Standards app by MasteryConnect organizes the CCLS for students, parents and teachers with mobile devices.

 

 

Addendum on 6/19/13:

Addendum on 6/27/13: 

 

40percentfreelancersby2020-quartz-april2013

 

Also, from Steve Wheeler’s

Etienne Wenger recently declared: ‘If any institutions are going to help learners with the real challenges they face…(they) will have to shift their focus from imparting curriculum to supporting the negotiation of productive identities through landscapes of practice’ (Wenger, 2010).

We live in uncertain times, where we cannot be sure how the economy is going to perform today, let alone predict what kind of jobs there will be for students when they graduate in a few years time. How can we prepare students for a world of work that doesn’t yet exist? How can we help learners to ready themselves for employment that is shifting like the sand, and where many of the jobs they will be applying for when they leave university probably don’t exist yet? It’s a conundrum many faculty and lecturers are wrestling with, and one which many others are ignoring in the hope that the problem will simply go away. Whether we are meerkats, looking out and anticipating the challenges, or ostriches burying our heads in the sand, the challenge remains, and it is growing stronger.

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Also see:

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401kworld-friedman-may2013

 

Also see:

  • The Nature of the Future: The Socialstructed World — from nextberlin.eu by Marina Gorbis, Institute for the Future
    Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future (iftf.org) discussed the evolution of communication and its consequences at NEXT13. She analyzed the perks and challenges of the new relationship-driven or “socialstructed” economy, stating that “humans and technology will team up”. Her new book ‘The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World’ was published in early 2013.  Watch her inspiring talk on April 23, 2013 at NEXT13.

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From DSC:
My best take on this at this point:

  • Give students more choice, more control of their learning
  • Help them discover their gifts, abilities, talents, passions
  • Help them develop their gifts, abilities, talents, passions
  • Provide content in as many ways as possible — and let the students work with what they prefer to work with
  • Implement story, emotion, creativity, and play as much as possible (providing plenty of chances for them to create what they want to create)
  • Utilize cross-disciplinary assignments and teams
  • Integrate real-world assignments/projects into the mix
  • Help them develop their own businesses while they are still in school — coach them along, provide mentors, relevant blogs/websites, etc.
  • Guide them as they create/develop their own “textbooks” and/or streams of content

 

Education standardization: Essential or harmful? — from gettingsmart.com by Marie Bjerede

 

Tagged with:  

BBC-GuideToNext150Years-Jan2013

 

From DSC:
Some potential scenarios of our future.  Are there implications for how we educate today’s students? For our curriculum?

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
Starting immediately, all traditional and non-traditional institutions of education should develop this type of program — and more — and integrate such programs into their offerings/curriculum.  The targets are simply moving too fast.  As such, students need to know how to constantly pulse check a variety of landscapes, develop scenarios/strategies, and then execute on those strategies.  Given the pace of change, don’t expect to bat a thousand.

Reminds me of this graphic I created back in 2009:

 

 

To further support this perspective, check out the #1 item from Educause’s Learning Initiative (ELI) below:

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ELI Anchor Survey Results

4 jobs for the future: Common Core and career readiness — from edreach.us by Jac De Haan

Excerpt:

10 years ago most of us had never heard of social media managers, user experience designers or sustainability experts. So what might these future jobs be, and how are Common Core Standards helping our students prepare? What will be the employment opportunities for recent grads in 2025? Here are 4 possibilities:

Tagged with:  

The future of education, according to McGraw-Hill — from edcetera.com by Kirsten Winkler

Excerpt:

Certainly, there needed to be a set of skills defined to call a student college-ready, but the path of how to achieve these fixed goals should be an individual one that allows students to go after their interests and respects their individual talents. Students shouldn’t be in the same grade when they’re not on the same level. What we’re talking about is a flexible system that would depend on when a student is ready rather than when a curriculum defines they’re ready.

Such a more flexible model is inspired by some of the things that are happening in higher education already. This is a great example of how innovation taken from higher ed is making its way into high schools.

Vinet Madan used a nice metaphor when he explained this approach in our interview. It’s like the decision to take either the scenic route by the coast or the highway to get to your goal. Ultimately, both routes will take you to the destination, it’s just a personal preference.

Also see:

Learning in a Digital Age - JISC - 2012

 

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Contents of Learning in a Digital Age -- from JISC in 2012

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My notes on two presentations from the Learning Without Frontiers Conference, London, 26th January 2012:

My notes for:
Sir Ken Robinson’s talk

Practice <–>Theory <–> Policy

  • People who practice don’t often have time to get the latest and greatest information re: theory
  • Theorists don’t have much time for practice
  • Policy makers don’t know much about either 🙂

Purposes of education:

  • Economic.  Not solely, but there are economic reasons for providing education. Academic vs vocation programs – Sir Ken doesn’t subscribe to this dichotomy in educational DNA. Need new sorts of education
  • Cultural. Aim to pass on cultural genes – values, beliefs
  • Personal. The most important! In the end, education is ultimately, personal. Too much impersonal testing that students aren’t engaged in.

Key point:

  • There is everything you can do – at all levels; many of us ARE the educational system – at least for the group(s) of students that we are working with. So we can make immediate changes; and collectively this can create a revolution.

Education not linear, not monolithic. Rather, it’s a complex, adaptive system – many moving parts, like a vortex…not like an undistributed canal; more like an ocean with different forces tugging this way and that. (From DSC: I agree with what Sir Ken is saying here, but I especially agree with this particular perspective — thus the name of this blog.)

Personalization is key! Education needs to be customized to the communities where it’s taking place.

Principles

  • Curriculum – towards disciplines (skills, processes, procedures) and away from subjects
  • Teaching & Learning – dynamic; flow of knowledge; not static; forms need to tap into streams; move towards collaborative activities; active learning trumps passive learning
  • Assessment – must move from judgment to description

 


My notes (part way) for:
Jim Knight – If Steve Jobs Designed Schools

What if Steve Jobs had re-invented the education system rather the computer and consumer electronics industry?

Steve Jobs was a contradictory character, combining control freak and Zen Buddhist, and technology with design. He had a revolutionary impact on computing, animation, the music industry, printing, and publishing. Last year he and Bill Gates together expressed surprise at how little impact technology had had on schools. Jobs’s wife is an educational reformer, he was a college dropout; but what would it have been like if Steve Jobs had focused on education? What would the Jobs School be like?

How do we make an insanely great school?

  • Must go really deep to create something that’s easy to use (from DSC — I call this “Easy is hard.”) Need to de-clutter the teaching & learning environment, the curriculum, the qualifications, and the people.
  • How does it make me feel when I walk through the doorway of your school?
  • Get to choose who you want to learn with and from
  • Simple, beautiful space; flexible; social; reflective, all year round
  • More seductive, intuitive, enthralling
  • Does it inspire curiosity?
  • “Don’t need instructions”
  • Not just a school – learning doesn’t stop when school bell rings
  • 24×7 thing
  • Curriculum
  • Is there a range of things to interest everyone?
  • Need more choice; selection; more control of their learning
  • All ages
  • Enterprising
  • Creative, technical, practical…but most of all, it would be fun!

More here…


 

Willing but not yet ready: A glimpse of California teachers’ preparedness for the Common Core State Standards

Excerpt:

California is on the precipice of implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which were developed through an initiative of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to reflect the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers. In California, one of 45 adopting states, the standards represent a significant shift in expectations for both teaching and learning, not just in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics, but also in literacy related to science and history/social science. The newly adopted standards call for a deep conceptual understanding of the content in ELA and mathematics and, also, for the ability to apply this content to other disciplines. New assessments aligned to the standards are due to be implemented in 2014-15. It all sounds good. But are teachers ready to teach to the new standards?

From DSC:
Due to my lack of knowledge, the jury is still out for me re: what I think about the Common Core State Standards.  The crux of my struggle has to do with:

  • Who determines which courses/topics are included in the standards — both now and in the future?
  • How often will they be updated to insure the foundations are truly foundational to our students’ futures?
  • Are such large swaths of standards helpful and effective or are they an extension of a one-size-fits all approach?  (For example, I look back on some of the items that I took in K-12 — many of which I’ve forgotten and I never use — but I’ll bet are still in the standards. )

I would like to see some solid foundations being built as well — as I assume that’s what the standards seek to implement.  I just hope we can provide places for students’ wide variety of passions to be identified, explored, and strongly nurtured as my economics training taught me that we all win when each of us does what we do best.

Can someone educate me on these standards? What are the upsides and downsides — the pros and cons — of these standards? Thanks!

 Addendum on 3/2/12:

 

A dangerous game — from learning with ‘e’s by Steve Wheeler

Excerpt:

This got me thinking that many of the world’s education systems are a little like the eating game of Meze. We pile the students plates high with content. Content of every kind is presented to be consumed, and the poor students don’t stand a chance. Many are overwhelmed by the amount of content they need to learn, and the pace at which they have to learn it. Even while they are struggling their way through an overburdened ‘just in case’ curriculum, still more content continues to arrive at an alarming pace. Some learners cry out for mercy, but they are still compelled to consume the content, because later, they are required to regurgitate it in an examination to obtain their grades. The examinations bear no resemblance to that which will be required of them in the real world. No wonder so many wish to leave the table early. What can teachers do to obviate this problem? Some are making a difference, reinterpreting the curriculum they are given by enabling activities and creating resources that facilitate student centred learning. Learning at one’s own pace, and in a manner that suits the individual will overcome some of the problems of overload, but more needs to be done. Things are changing, but they are changing slowly, too slowly for many people’s tastes. It’s a dangerous game we are playing in education. Isn’t it about time we stopped?

Tyrrany-of-the-textbook----Jobrack- 2011.

Book Description
Publication Date: December 16, 2011 | ISBN-10: 1442211415 | ISBN-13: 978-1442211414

Excerpt:

Educational reforms and standards have been a topic of public debate for decades, with the latest go-round being the State Common Core Curriculum Standards. But time and again those reforms have failed, and each set of standards, no matter how new and different, has had little impact on improving student achievement. Why? The textbooks. Textbooks sell based on design and superficial features, not because they are based on the latest research on how children learn and how well they promote student achievement. In Tyranny of the Textbook, Beverlee Jobrack, retired from educational publishing, sheds light on why this happens. She gives an engaging and fascinating look behind-the-scenes of how K-12 textbooks are developed, written, adopted, and sold. And, perhaps most importantly, she clearly spells out how the system can change so that reforms and standards have a shot at finally being effective.

Did you Know?

  • Reform efforts have focused on writing and rewriting standards and tests, but these rarely have any effect on the core curriculum that is published.
  • School districts and states don’t use effectiveness as a criterion for evaluating and purchasing textbooks.
  • Publishers don’t offer textbooks with better content or the latest teaching methods because teachers don’t want textbooks that require them to change their practices.
  • Teachers report that they don’t rely on a textbook in their class, but research shows that they do.
  • Three companies publish 75 percent of the K-12 educational materials.
  • Those three companies are producing similar programs with the same instructional strategies, none of which require teachers to change their practices significantly.
  • Publishers write textbooks for California and Texas. All the other markets have to make do with books only superficially adjusted for their states.

From DSC:
I originally saw this at:

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From “WorldFuture 2012 Master Courses”

Why take a master course?

  • Become better equipped to choose from various methods when facing a particular challenge.
  • Learn about primary and secondary research methodologies, examine classical futuring techniques, including scenario planning, trend and product forecasting, crisis preparedness, and transformation and hyper-change sensitivity.
  • Develop critical thinking, listening, and observational skills.
  • Increase your ability to enhance planning today to better anticipate obstacles and opportunities in the future.

WorldFuture 2012 Master Courses

  • C-1 Introduction to Futures Studies
  • C-2 Foresight Educators Boot Camp
  • C-3 Wiser Futures: Using Futures Tools to Better Understand and Create the Future
  • C-4 Society 3.0: Technology Transformations in Society, Work, and Higher Education
  • C-5 The Human Dynamics of Creation to Effect Change
  • C-6 Identifying and Exploring Security’s Futures and What Can Be Done to Prepare
  • C-7 An Insider’s Guide to Foresight Consulting: A Case Study Approach
  • C-8 Futurist Writers’ Workshop
  • C-9 Scenario Planning: How to Build and Use Scenarios
  • C-10 Weak Signals and Minitrends: Foundations for Truly Innovative Organizations
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From DSC:
When the world is moving at 180 miles per hour, we can’t be looking 5-10 feet ahead of the race car.  The necessity of peering out into the horizon is key. Students need to develop the ability to pulse-check a variety of factors and landscapes.  They need to develop an appreciation for developing potential future scenarios and then figuring out their responses/plans to these scenarios. This also applies to those of us working in higher education…especially these days!
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The pace has changed significantly and quickly

From DSC:
The pace of innovation continues — what does this mean for our current engineering programs? For the future curriculum of engineering-related programs? How does this rapid change of pace affect our schools of education?  Should we be introducing more courses on pulse-checking/trend watching/courses in futurism? In robotics? Other?

Example:
Mitsubishi shows off what car interfaces will look like in 10 years — from dvice.com

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Image credit: DigInfo

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